Nothing like an unexpected injury to give us time to just read and reflect.In our category of another lost invite, there was the recent OECD “People, Planet, Prosperity” summit in Paris. Instead of a boat ride on the Seine and sumptuous food we will have to settle for the powerpoint online. I was struck by the statement of Tatiana Glad where she encouraged the attendees to “Look at government as a crowdfunded initiative for the good of the people. The question is what are the mechanisms we use. Are we using peer to peer mechanisms to figure out the answers to the sharing economy or are we using traditional mindsets and stifling it.”
Actually I have and will continue to assert that the OECD, like the UN entities, is using preschool, K-12, and higher ed globally as a means to stifle traditional minds altogether. The guiding focus appears to be what activities and classroom emphases can lock in the desired values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in the student’s brain and central nervous system. Building on what the White House is touting as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies, the OECD is pushing and wants to assess “Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills.” I am sure it is purely coincidental that the ESEA Rewrites mandate that very emphasis. So do charter schools under the contractual language that gets them approved now and renewed.
The OECD is a participant on the Advisory Board of an entity called Global Education Futures that has been holding alarming meetings this year in preparation for issuing a report on global directions in education at Davos next January. I suspect that will be another lost invite. We will cover GEF in a different post. I want to focus here on the active deceit going on around school choice and local control and how it directly connects to this global agenda. Also on the GEF Advisory Board is Tom Vander Ark, an education consultant who was previously with the Gates Foundation. On July 31, 2015 he wrote a story “10 Next Steps for EdLeaders: The Advanced Course” touting Fulton County in metro Atlanta as “inventing the future of learning.” Now I live in that cutting-edge district and that is not what parents are being told. They certainly are not being told that in twenty years all their precious children will be left with is highly manipulated neural structures and personalities and what GEF calls ‘existential competencies’.
Yet Fulton is a charter system the Heritage Foundation-affiliated state public policy ‘think tank’ touted as an example of ‘school choice’ ( I was there) even though the language of the charter spells out non-consensual psychological rape of the kind described in my book Credentialed to Destroy as Transformational Outcomes Based Education. I nicknamed it Tranzi OBE to keep the references shorter. It is all over Texas too as this 2010 report lays out. http://www.bobpearlman.org/Articles/Coppell_Shannon_Buerk.pdf We can also connect it to GEF via the March 2015 P21 Summit “Patterns of Innovation: 21st Century Learning in Action” because GEF touts P21 as a global exemplar and because Kelly Young of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution Re-Imagining Education Project spoke at both the P21 Summit and the 2015 TASA Midwinter Conference.
She spoke in Texas with Michael Hinojosa who was also part of that Project along with the NEA, AFT, Heritage Foundation (except Stuart Butler skipped over to Brookings in mid-Project), and others while he was the Cobb County Super (next to Fulton) and while he was training local Texas Supers or aspiring to be a Super admins. He is now the Interim Dallas Super again and thus brings the GEF vision there when we trace these things all the way through. It is also Hinojosa whose picture is up on the website of the Large County-Wide and Suburban District Consortium–Success At Scale–lobbying Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isakson and others over the ESEA Rewrite and letting local districts take the lead. That meeting on February 4, 2014 was the day after the White House meeting on Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies covered in the last post. Coincidental? Awfully convenient given all these intersecting agendas.
The “Our Values and Priorities” link at that website, which again is intended to get at and change the orientation of the schools that are actually still working and retaining an academic emphasis, is full of references to the need for schools now to be driven by student learning goals set by “internationally benchmarked standards and expectations.” We are back to the OECD again then and the various UN pushes like UNESCO, IB, and the Learning Metrics Task Force that fit with the language in Lamar Alexander’s Every Child Achieves Act. This is again how the Local Becomes the Global, while GEF admits it is really Delocalization because so much education now is digital and embedded in virtual reality. The software writer is the real source of control over what will be targeted in the student’s mind.
In Chapter 4 of my book that covers Competency and Tranzi OBE I explained how these international assessments are tied to something called DeSeCo–Definition and Selection of Competences. The Consortium then is obliquely but surely binding all their member districts to the change the child through the schools vision. Those physiological changes require the kind of assessments described in the last post. They get at the internalized “reasons and motives, which are the equivalent in the world of mind of causal connections in the physical world.” Now where did that quote come from? That quote came from a 1979 biography of a 19th century German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey: Pioneer of the Human Studies whose work greatly influenced John Dewey, many Karl Marx admirers, sociology and psychology globally, and the cybernetic vision for the mind.
It is Dilthey’s vision of creating an interdisciplinary Human Studies that is guiding so much of the actual Common Core implementation and the shift to Competency globally. It’s the why of the shift because Competency and Proficiency focus on student’s aims and interests. Students are encouraged to set goals and plan how to fulfill those goals. Student-centered Competency Learning really places the student on the menu and subject to examination and experimentation as data gets collected that gets at “real flesh and blood human beings who are in touch with reality through their sensations, feelings, thoughts, and acts of will.” That education data, even when not personally identifiable, is hugely useful and telling, and is part of a $31 million NSF ‘data-driven science’ initiative announced October 1, 2014.
All that education data gets at the internalized ‘sphere of mental processes’ so it can be known and then altered at will. The teacher need never actually know as the data flows from online assessments into district and state coffers and NSF cyberinfrastructure databases. Competency, which all these listed programs are driving at, assesses the “intellectual and creative capacity for abstract thinking, conceptualizing and logical reasoning which distinguishes man from other creatures” for each student and then begins to manipulate and change the activities to instill as few connections as is possible to carry out essential knowledge and skills.” The cyberneticians know the Axemaker Mind is an uncontrollable mind and hard to predict. That is unacceptable so we get Competency instead.
When I pulled the 2012 paper from one of the cited NSF education researchers I could recognize the intentional neural restructuring and how Core Disciplinary Ideas, Cross-Cutting Themes, Enduring Understandings, and the focus on no single correct answer wicked problems would all come into play. His paper though started off with how useful this would be to better teach reading and math and finally stop the “education wars.” He needs to read Chapters 2 and 3 of my book and recognize no one actually wants proper teaching because of the inherent ignition of the Axemaker Mind that comes from fluent phonetic reading. My point is that we are turning our students into guinea pigs in a gigantic global sociology project being administered at the local level of the school. Yet virtually everyone involved only knows a part of the story or is also being lied to.
Can you imagine if Competency and the Common Core were being pitched for what they really are–a social experiment examining what it means to be human? Administrators and politicians openly admitting a desire for neural changes at a physical level locked in for life and touted as Habits of Mind? We would have a riot at every school, including many of the privates and charters. So we get deceit, euphemisms, and redefinitions of common words and phrases no one alerts us to.
Except me. Throughout history governments have focused their desire for maintaining power and control over the transmitters of troubling knowledge–book publishers, radio, TV, textbooks, educators. Censorship and propaganda are their favorite tools. They are also highly visible tools that just reek of coercion. Invisibly instilling Habits of Mind at a neural level is subtle and effective. Making the student the focus of a Human Studies program and the Moral Sciences just like Dilthey envisioned is the best way to describe the nature of the data now mandated for collection in the various state preschool programs like Colorado GOLD.
Governments at all levels globally have moved beyond censorship and propaganda and decided, at meetings we are not invited to, to make the receiver of information their new focus. That would be the receiver better known as the student’s brain and personality.
Don’t we all wish this was science fiction written by Orwell instead of me documenting the connections and declared aspirations across the decades and continents?
We are getting the hype about Local Control and School Choice to obscure that the reality is the exact opposite.